“I shall not die, but I shall live--
and recount the deeds of the LORD” Ps.117:17
The text message history tells all:
Nov.20, 4:43 PM
…with many exchanges to follow with each of our five children and especially the one nearest at hand:
“Hello Joshua?! We crashed.”
Darkness had fallen earlier than we’d hoped. Lightly falling rain that was no problem at first had fallen on an already chilled road bed just over the crest of a hill…
And suddenly we were skating at 100km. an hour, with no steering, on a highway of sheer black ice. The rest was inevitable; no guard rail, no shoulder to speak of, just a long descent to the snowy fir wood below. We were airborne for a long breathless moment. Long enough to feel the weightlessness, to reach for Jim’s arm so as to end this thing together, to think: “Is my seatbelt even fastened? I can’t feel it” and to wonder, how does one best brace for the inevitable impact when this long suspended animation is over and reality crashes in?
Then all was still with a momentary jolt and we were nestled in a soundless snowy wood, in the black of night, 12 feet below the glassy highway.
“We’re alive! It’s OK, we’re alive!” was all I could think to blurt out reassuringly to my shaken driver.
We were to have arrived Prince George in just another hour and a half, to visit our son and his wife in their first very own home. This detour was not on the trip plan. We had hoped to help them get settled in. Now they would be rescuing us.
I will spare you the details. There were many mercies seen and unseen. There was the long wait but the mercy of a truck driver’s warm cab and company. He along with all the rest of the travellers on this road were halted to wait for the ice to be conquered. All travel in either direction for miles was suspended by a thin sheet of glass. Eventually the sand truck passed and the salt truck, several times. And oddly the temperature seemed to rise a couple of degrees… (not so oddly, this was our prayer) Then the truck driver donned his trucks’ ‘jewelry’ (chains) while we hauled our basic essentials and valuables from the car, up the snowy slope to the highway and to his waiting semi and then we were carried down out of the icy hills to meet Joshua and his wife for the ride home…
That was last night. I woke early today in my son’s house as the sun was just beginning to brighten the world, feeling rested and restless to declare God’s praise. Before I’d left my cozy bed these words were singing through my head:
“Praise to the Lord, the ALMIGHTY, the King of Creation.
O my soul praise Him for He is Thy health and salvation.
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near,
Join me in glad adoration.”
There will be many details today. The car must be lifted to the road and assessed, and towed, and what then (?!) remains to be seen. But for now we are alive, and whole and thankful. (There is only the smallest little tender bruise on the side of my head where it bumped the window to tell us what happened in the night.)
The mercies of the Lord last night were many. Upon clambering out of our warm car into the snow the world smelled of Christmas. All the little fir saplings that had cushioned our fall, lay snapped and crushed, yielding up their scent in the startling wake of our near disaster. I think now how this is so like Jesus—he cushioned our fall by the sacrifice of Himself, his life for ours, to save us from sure destruction. Though we are not guaranteed length of life in this world, for now we’ve been spared to proclaim His glory!
Praise Him with us, won’t you?
My reading this morning fell in Ps.116-118…
“I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice, and my pleas for mercy… Gracious is the LORD and righteous, our God is merciful…”Return, oh my soul, to your rest; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you…For you have delivered my soul from death. I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.”
Praise the LORD—extol him all peoples! For great is His steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever!
Glad songs of salvation are in the tents of the righteous; the right hand of the LORD does valiantly!
I shall not die, but I shall live and recount the deeds of the LORD.